- Compact crossover SUV competes with the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4
- Choice of four-cylinder and V-6 engines
- IIHS Top Safety Pick
Chevrolet’s entrant into the crowded compact crossover market is the 2014 Equinox, a five-seat swiss-army knife of an SUV that ably combines fuel economy and utility into a family friendly package.
Last year the Equinox added a new V-6 engine and new options and technology, but is practically unchanged for the 2014 model year.
The Equinox’s appearance is brawny rather than smooth, with a high-belt line and plenty of sharp angles to be found on the hood and rear windows. Both front and rear fenders stick out prominently, echoing the design found on the new Malibu and Impala sedans. Convenient exterior options include a powered liftgate which makes it easier to load the Equinox even if both hands are full, power sunroof, and heated side mirrors.
Many of the other SUVs in this segment have dropped their second engine options, but the 2014 Equinox continues to grant that flexibility offering a choice of two engines, one a fuel-efficient four-cylinder and a powerful V-6. The base engine is the 182-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder which offers up to 32 mpg on the highway. Those who want more power can opt for the 301-hp, 3.6-liter V-6 which increases towing capacity to 3,500 pounds. Both engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, with front-wheel drive standard and all-wheel drive optional.
Inside, the 2014 Equinox is a mix of new and old: new technology, but a two-tone design found in many of GMs older models. That’s not to say that the interior is diminished or unattractive (we actually think it’s somewhat handsome), it will just look familiar. One thing not up for dispute however is the Equinox’s standard features list, which is large and offers great value. A USB/iPod port, air conditioning, remote keyless entry, auxiliary audio input, satellite radio, and Bluetooth connectivity are standard on every Equinox model. Last year’s Equinox also added an optional Power Convenience package which includes a power passenger seat, power liftgate, and a universal remote, and Chevrolet’s MyLink entertainment system
For its performance in crash tests, the 2014 Equinox earned a Top Safety Pick award from the IIHS. Standard safety features include four-wheel disc antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability system, blind spot mirrors, and six airbags all come standard. The available Safety Package adds forward collision alert, lane departure warning, and rear-park assist to the mix.